KARACHI                -          Mayor Wasim Akhtar has said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has not rejected the Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s offer and is ready to cooperate ‘in the larger interest of the province’, urging the provincial government to take practical steps for betterment of Sindh, particularly Karachi first.

Addressing an event of handing over Rs9.4 million worth school furniture to eight schools by a NGO in Korangi on Thursday, Akhtar said considering the past experiences, they would like to see practical steps for the city’s uplift first ‘as just a political statement was not enough’.

He said that his party could take the decision only if the provincial government dissolves powers to local bodies and make them empower under Article 140-A of the constitution. “In the past, we (MQM) were used in formation of the governments but now some people want our support to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government. In the larger interest of the province, we are ready to cooperate with the Sindh government but before that it should take some justified decisions” he said and added the MQM-P would decide in the favour and interest of the people.

Akhtar was of the view that the people of Sindh were looking at the federal and provincial governments for redressal of their issues. He also asked the federal government to implement the memorandum of understanding—signed between them and PTI ahead of government’s formation—which he said was aimed at progress in Sindh.

It may be noted here that the PPP Chief had offered the MQM-P ministries in Sindh government in exchange of the latter’s breaking off its alliance in the centre. Following Bilawal’s offer, the MQM-P MQM-P spokesman issued a statement and asked the PPP chief to empower local bodies instead of offering them ministries. “If the PPP wants to redress injustices being done with Urban areas it should dissolve Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Karachi Development Authority, Building Control Authority and all other civic department’s to the city government,” the MQM-P spokesman demanded.

He also tendered the MQM-P’s all-out support, if the provincial government bring amended local government bill in the Sindh Assembly. The MQM-P spokesman went on to say that the party was not pleased with the federal government’s one and a half year performance but ‘we would not break our alliance with the PTI on someone else’s wish.

Earlier, the mayor hailed the NGO Duokon and asked the industrialist of Korangi zone to adopt the schools for their betterment. The donations included the teacher’s chairs, table, book shelf, laboratory shelf, three types of student’s desk and other items.

President of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry Junaid Taqi said education should be focused more. He said Duokon was working well in this sector since 1998.

DMC Korangi Chairman Syed Nayyer Raza said that the efforts were made since 2016 to provide furniture to schools but these could not be materialised owing to shortage of funds. “Duokon also established two institutes which would help provide better education facilities to people of the area,” he added.